Summary: By encouraging her to fulfill her dreams, he abandoned her to a world of sin and greed. Ash Ketchum's only goal now is to make amends for destroying the life of a friend.
Rated PG13: Some adult situations
Ownership: All characters belong to Nintendo, Gamefreak, and their respective owners. This fan fiction is owned by Waras (myself) and can be found on FF.net and Bulbagarden Forums.
The phone call came that night.
Ash Ketchum, tired from his travels, dragged himself to the main floor of the Pokémon Center to answer it. Nurse Joy had just awakened him from a few short hours of sleep with the news that a friend of his was on the line from Hoenn.
He grumbled and yawned as he pressed the answer button on the video phone.
The young trainer's thoughts turned from sleep to excitement as the beautiful face of a dark blue-haired girl appeared on the screen. It was a face he hadn't at all forgotten since they parted nearly a year before.
"Hi Ash," she said. "How are you doing?"
"Dawn…" He gazed into her pretty blue eyes and noticed that she'd been crying. "I'm fine. Is everything alright?"
She smiled sadly.
"I've... been lonely… My Pokémon are great friends… but it's not the same as traveling with you and Brock." Her eyes shone with repressed tears.
"I miss those days too."
They stared into each other's eyes for what felt like weeks. Finally, Dawn spoke.
"Ash… I received," she paused, "an offer."
The trainer inquired further.
"I met a woman. She says-" Dawn blushed, "that I could be a model."
Ash was perplexed. Ever since he had known Dawn, she had always loved to wear dresses and try out different clothing. But she had also loved Pokémon.
"What do you think?" She looked at him with her large eyes.
Her eyes. Beautiful eyes. Beautiful body. Beautiful girl. But, of course, they were friends. Destined to be nothing more and nothing less.
"Dawn… you could do anything," he whispered, "but what about Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu, and the rest of your Pokémon?"
The coordinator looked away. "I… I can't take them with me. They'd have to stay with Professor Rowan."
"Dawn… do whatever makes you happy. But remember always that Brock, your Pokémon, and I are always supportive of you. No matter what."
They smiled at each other.
"Now tell me everything" said Dawn eagerly. "How are Cilan and Iris?"
"They're great," he grinned, thinking of the determined young dragon trainer and the master connoisseur. "But... they're not you and Brock." His newest companions truly were great friends, and he really did enjoy having them on his journey. It was just different now to be without Dawn and Brock.
They spoke throughout the night of their respective journeys since they parted ways. When they finally said goodbye, tears in the eyes of each, the sun was just coming up.
It was dawn.
That night was the last time they had spoken.
Six years had passed since then. Ash had finally won several Pokémon League tournaments and earned his destined title of Pokémon champion. Although so much time had passed, he never forgot about Dawn and the dream he had encouraged her to pursue. Now that he had finally accomplished his own goals, he decided that it was time to find her.
After his recent victory in the Sinnoh League, he had visited Dawn's mother in Twinleaf Town, who told him that she had not seen her daughter for months.
"The last time she came by was last Christmas. I'm sorry Ash; I don't even know where she is."
Thanking the retired coordinator, Ash took his leave. He went to Sandgem from there. Perhaps his friend had been in contact with Professor Rowan at some point. But the response again came back negative.
“Hm, Dawn hasn’t been here since she left her Pokémon,” the old professor frowned, his impressive moustache sagging. Behind Rowan, Ash could see Dawn’s Piplup eating its lunch glumly. Pikachu dashed over to try to cheer it up. “If you find her, Ash, please tell her that her Pokémon miss her greatly. Piplup has been depressed for far too long; I keep him in the lab to make sure he’s alright. It would be great if Dawn could visit them someday soon.”
Ash agreed to pass on the message when he found the blue-haired girl. He eventually expanded his search to the whole country. Even then, it took the full extent of his resources as Pokémon League Champion to track her down. Finally, a reporter came forward who offered him her whereabouts in exchange for an interview. Though he wasn’t fond of the media, it was worth it to find Dawn.
After a grueling three hours of talking about how he became "the very best like no one ever was," Ash was finally given the information he wanted more than anything else.
"Yeah, I met her back when I was in Hoenn last month," the reporter had said. "Nice girl, and pretty looking too. It was at the Contest Hall in Lilycove City. There was a modeling show that had been there. I was lucky to get to cover it. It was called 'Aphrodite Interregional.' They were the prettiest girls I've ever seen. I believe the show was on its way to the Johto region."
Departing quickly on the back of his mighty Staraptor, Ash arrived in New Bark Town the very same day. His first stop was to Professor Elm's laboratory.
"Ah, yes, I've heard of them. They're performing in Goldenrod City this week. Ash, have you raised any eggs recently?" Elm asked distractedly. But the breeding researcher never received an answer as Ash had already sprinted back out the door and onto Staraptor's back. They took flight in the direction of the shining city.
This takes us to the present. Sitting in a theater in Goldenrod City, Ash reminisced about his journeys with the younger girl. She was ten when she joined him on his journey. He had traveled with girls before and after her, but he had never grown as close with them as he had with Dawn. The girl had been like a sister to him, closer perhaps.
It was no coincidence that Ash chose now to find the blue-haired girl. Tomorrow was her birthday; she was turning eighteen. He wanted to make the day memorable for her.
Watching the parade of pretty girls crossing the stage, he became more and more excited that he would finally be able to cheer her on like back when she entered contests. In the seat beside him sat his ever-present companion and friend, Pikachu. The little electric mouse was holding one of the little pom-poms that Dawn had given him years ago.
"And now, we present to you the Jewel of Sinnoh, the eternally beautiful Dawn!" exclaimed the emcee.
Ash stood up in his seat to get a better look at his old friend as she walked out onto the stage. The last time he had seen her, she was twelve. Now, nearly six years later, she looked infinitely more beautiful. She was, euphemistically, well developed. More plainly speaking, her chest and hips had matured flawlessly, filling out the sequined pink gown she wore. The dress perfectly revealed each and every curve on her gorgeous body.
There was a collective gasp of astonishment as the audience was bathed in Dawn's glory. There were several slapping noises as a few wives tried vainly to put their husband's eyeballs back in their heads.
Even Ash's mind had to reestablish control over his hormones. He was no oblivious little boy anymore.
The audience broke into a huge round of applause as Dawn took her place among the other idols.
"And that concludes our show! Remember Johto: Beauty is the greatest gift of nature!" declared the host, a thirty-some year old woman. Despite her apparent age, she was still second only to Dawn in terms of beauty.
Eighteen. She was going to be eighteen tomorrow. Once she was a legal adult, Dawn would be able to find even better work in the modeling industry. So many opportunities lay ahead of her. And it was all because of Ash's encouragement.
One of the other models who had already finished undressing called into Dawn's dressing room, bringing the blue-haired girl back to earth.
"Dawn, there's someone at the door who says he's wants to speak with you. Want me to call the police?"
"No thanks," she replied. "I'll head out the back way."
After the show, Dawn had returned to her dressing room. As she was "The Jewel of Sinnoh," she had a private room, unlike most of the other models. Dawn had lost track of time thinking to herself, and hadn't even changed out of her dress yet.
She sighed as she pulled her arms out of the pink straps. Stalkers were nothing new for her. Since her first audition, men had come up to her and professed love. Some tried to get her to go with them; others merely wanted to speak with her in person. Either way, they all had to be avoided because they rarely had pure intentions.
Sighing again at the lonely life of a model, she pulled the dress down to her waist. She looked at herself in the mirror, feeling her own soft skin. How could men resist her beauty? Being a model was both a blessing and a curse.
Who wouldn't marry her for her looks? But who would bother learning who she truly was? And who cared?
She removed the dress and changed back into a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans.
Saying goodbye to everyone as she left, Dawn walked out the back door and into an alley.
A man, a bit taller than her, was standing a few feet away, leaning on a dark streetlight. Only his silhouette was visible to Dawn. A rat-like Pokémon sat hunched on his shoulders.
She turned around and reached for the door, but it was locked from the inside. Meanwhile, the mysterious man began walking towards her.
Dawn began to beat on the door with her fists. Trembling now, Dawn realized that although she had expected the man to be at the front door, it would have still been a safer place to leave from than the back. This alley was a place where no one could hear her scream.
"Stop! Don't come any closer!" she shouted at the man.
He froze. Realizing that her fear was from being unable to see him in the darkness, he uttered a single word.
A sudden yellow burst of electricity erupted from the Pokémon that Dawn had thought to be a Raticate.
It traveled at the dark streetlight, illuminating it, and bathing the alley in light.
Finally recognizing the voice and electric mouse, Dawn looked straight into his now visible face. She could have laughed with relief. It was no stalker. He was a friend.
"Ash…" she said, overjoyed to see the kindest of faces.